? The Financial Services Institute (FSI) issued a statement on October 6 urging the House Financial Services Committee to apply a new universal standard of care to broker/dealers in addition to investment advisors under the proposed Investor Protection Act of 2009 (IPA). FSI also noted its support for "the creation of an industry-informed, self-funded regulatory authority dedicated to effective supervision, timely examination, and vigorous enforcement of both registered investment advisers and broker-dealers."
? Also on October 6, David Tittsworth, executive drector of the Investment Adviser Association (IAA), testified before the House Financial Services Committee, at a hearing entitled, "Capital Markets Regulatory Reform: Strengthening Investor Protection, Enhancing Oversight of Private Pools of Capital, and Creating a National Insurance Office." In his testimony Tittworth voiced the Association's strong support for the Administration's call to require "broker/dealers who provide investment advice about securities to investors to have the same fiduciary obligations as registered investment advisers" and for full funding for the SEC's regulatory, inspection, and enforcement efforts. IAA believes Congress should examine funding alternatives for the SEC, including self-funding mechanisms and user fees, a newly proposed option. The Association continues to oppose the creation of an SRO for the advisory profession.
? The Financial Planning Association and Janus Capital Group Inc. announced the winners of the 2009 Financial Frontiers Awards which recognize outstanding research papers that present new ideas and practical solutions for financial planners and their clients in two categories: financial techniques and financial concepts. "Purchase a Time-Share Interval or Rent Hotel Rooms? Preparing for a Discussion with Clients," by Stephen Larso and Robert Larson, JD, took first place in the techniques category. The winning paper in the concepts category was "Constructing Core Portfolios for Chaotic Markets" by Paul Tomasula Jr.
? The FPA also recently released its 2009 Financial Planning Salary Survey which polled more than 1,500 individuals from 1,455 practices. Among the good news is that 38.9% of firms say they plan to increase employee compensation in the upcoming year and 13.6% say they plan to increase or add benefits, while fewer than 6% of participants indicated they planned to decrease compensation or benefits, data which the survey says is "indicative of either positive revenue and client experiences or optimism for the economy this coming year." Also of good news for the owners of financial planning firms is the high degree of satisfaction that employees find in their jobs. Most respondents indicated they are highly satisfied with their jobs, with only 15% leaning toward dissatisfaction.